As the year 2016 inexorably comes to the end, thoughts turn to the future, such as the first letter, coming from our reader and contributor, Alan Piper:
It occurs to me to ask whether UKIP Branches up and down the country should start focussing their attention on the selection of Parliamentary candidates? Partly to be ready if May pulls a fast one, but also to give serious candidates plenty of time to make the UKIP case – before the furore of hustings and campaigning!
I want to ask the 25,000 people in a certain constituency who voted lib dem, “you’re not liberal and you’re not democratic. What ARE you?” (Shades of Farage and Von Rumpoy). I want to ask the 16,000 who voted conservative “can you imagine Maggie getting blanked by EU leaders? Or modelling fancy pants while the unions are re-opening the box called industrial chaos circa 1970?”. (There is no significant Lab vote here).
We grown ups are watching the world we know getting dismantled in so many ways and we sit here helplessly mesmerised, able to do nothing unless we are let off the leash, selected and authorised to take the UKIP attack to the electorate, based not least on our lifetimes of experience which brought us to UKIP in the first place.
I think it’s time to start fighting back. Any takers?
Respectfully, Alan Piper
Our contributor and reader Paul Foyster argues forcefully that it is now time to move on:
The NEC and leadership elections are over. Paul is finally in charge and happily he has a huge majority, now all at HQ, in the NEC and in the rest of our party need to learn to pull in the same direction and show tolerance to each other’s views, debating controversial issues in private before reaching a compromise agreed position. Members can do that too, through their branch chairmen: it really is best to avoid washing dirty linen in public. We can also debate on this site, a useful outlet for which I’m grateful, but we should remember that we are being watched and whatever we say that may damage us will be used by the media sooner or later.
UKIP have 500 local councillors at District level and above. The shambles post referendum has been hugely embarrassing to us, some few have left the party as they could see their chances of retaining their seats, or the possibility of new candidates winning in May, recede almost daily. Once elected we have a duty to our wards and divisions, not just to UKIP – and I dare say Carswell, for example, feels the same way about his constituents, so cut him some slack. In due course Paul will no doubt remove the few individuals who actively damage us.
Few people who are not in some way elected representatives grasp the constant amount of time and effort involved or the difficulties a divided party causes. Look what that position has done to Labour, consider how the Tories would be damaged if they were not so good at disguising their own splits! Unless we wish to be just another small protest group it’s essential we pull together now. Only the threat of losing their seats gives us leverage and influence over the old parties, that’s the way the system works and it’s what won us the referendum and Brexit, anything else can be safely ignored by our rulers. To actually get what we voted for requires that pressure to continue and increase. Only in a united party can we achieve that.
Respectfully, Cllr. Paul Foyster, South Holland. Lincolnshire.
Finally, we received this moving obituary from our reader Lawrence Boxall:
I wonder if you could post a belated tribute to this man on the UKIP Daily site. Here it is:
I have just heard of the passing of Graham Widdows, a retired police officer and a great UKIP member from Crowthorne. I worked with him for several years, and remained friends with him after I left the party 15 years ago. Graham stayed on board and continued the hard pounding. His wife Ann has just told me he died in late August this year. Made of true grit he did not make a drama about suffering from Leukaemia, or burden his friends with the knowledge his time was coming.
As an ordinary party member Graham was instrumental in setting up and maintaining a strong UKIP branch in Bracknell, and across Berkshire, from its founding in 1998 through this year when he was still sending out emails of encouragement to his friends and colleagues.
I remember him always being cheerful, a great Alpha Romeo classic car enthusiast, a man who loved hard work and who was always around to help when things got busy around elections. He used his numerous contacts to get UKIP signboards set up on prominent sites across the area, which made voters sit up and take notice of what was then a new party.
Rest in peace, old friend, your work is done.
Respectfully, Lawrie Boxall